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"I'm not here to defend the bookmobile."

George Carlin's death has been in the news all week. Rightly so - as Jon Stewart said, I'm tired of people we need leaving us.

I remember when I was 16 or 17 and had my wisdom teeth out, my mom brought me home a couple of Carlin videotapes (remember those?) to help take my mind off the pain. (My mom, I should note, rules - a very nice lady who would never use the sort of language Carlin was famous for, but is still hip enough to get his stuff.) I had seen his stuff on Saturday Night Live reruns, but this was the first time I'd seen him all uncensored. Maybe it was the pain drugs, but gods, it was funny.

A few weks ago - a few days before FSG - I was sitting zazen one night before going to bed. Pretty tired, I was almost nodding off, then catching myself to stay awake. And in one moment, just as I started to fall asleep and caught myself, I heard the weirdest phrase inside my head:

"I'm not here to defend the bookmobile."

I have no idea what that means. I hadn't seen or thought about a bookmobile in ages. And why would one need defending? Against whom or what?

Curiously, as I've told people about this, two folks have reported connections to bookmobiles. so maybe it's a message for them.

I'm not here to defend the bookmobile. Defend the bookmobile against book burners, censors, haters of knowledge and communication.But that's not my job. It's somebody else's. Or maybe the bookmobile is full of crap bestsellers, celebrity biographies and romance novels and the like; I'm here to defend the real library, not the bookmobile. Or the bookmobile is a gas guzzler, I don't know if I can really defend that, even if it's bringing books to people.

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